"Dear Santa, I had an awesome year. I have excellant (sic) grades in school, and I obey my parents (sometimes). I hope you have me on your 'nice' list. Thanks for listening, Luciano."
"Awesome" is a relative term, I know, but this sweet letter, penned by my colleague's adorable six-year old son, pretty much sums up my year as well. If we judge our lives by the number of blessings in it, I have had more than my fair share, Santa, with miracles to spare (thank you).
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, tis the season to be jolly ..."
Here in Piedmont, we've much to be grateful for as well. After more than four economically challenging years, it's incredibly encouraging to see our housing market on the mend. While job growth across the U.S. may still be fairly anemic, the Bay Area for the most part, is experiencing a rather robust real estate market once again (and aren't we lucky?). AND on a personal note, it's been my privilege to guide many of you through this much more optimistic frontier.
"Oh come all ye faithful . . ."
In fact, each successive sale seems to set a new precedent with respect to the margin by which a property sold over its "list price" and savvy Buyers have taken note. With escalating housing prices (not to mention skyrocketing rents) qualified Buyers who waited out the downturn, are now jumping into the marketplace to take advantage of historically low interest rates, which makes for the healthiest market we've seen in several years.
While some of you may feel that you have missed the bottom of the market, it's important to understand that you can still capitalize on cheap, cheap, CHEAP(!) dollars in the here and now. (Ho, ho ho!) Don't worry, you haven't arrived too late; there's still tremendous opportunity to be had in a rising marketplace.
Happily, whether on the Buy or Sell side of a transaction, I have had the great fortune to work with exceedingly smart, incredibly flexible, and often, very motivated Buyers and Sellers whom, for the most part, have let reason carry the day, who have carefully considered their options before taking action, and most importantly, were willing to work towards resolution. (Isn't it nice when we all get along?) They've not only had open minds, but open hearts as well. (That's true abundance.)
"And may joy come to you, and a merry Christmas too . . ."
As I look back over 2012 and ahead to 2013, I couldn't feel more blessed or more hopeful and that's in large part due to YOU; many who have become close friends along the way, and have in turn, referred me to your friends and family as well. Professionally speaking, is there a better gift? (I dont' think so.)
But when all is said and done, whether we've prevailed or not, like Luciano, I hope I've made it onto your "nice" list. ("Yes, Luciano, there is a Santa Claus.") Know that I've certainly done my best and that I feel grateful to be of service to you. Thank you for all your faith in me.
"Fa, la, la, la, la - la, la, la, la!"
Whatever holiday you celebrate, may it be filled with love and laughter. Here's to a joyous 2013.
"Joy to the World. . ."
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.